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Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign shatters goal

Released 27 December 2011

The agency shattered the fundraising goal for its annual Christmas season campaign as local residents dug deep into their pockets this year, according to agency officials.

As of Tuesday, $116,000 has been collected through the month-and-a-half-long campaign, which ended Christmas Eve, but the final tally could approach $120,000, according to Capt. Kevin Zanders. That figure would put the campaign $8,000, or nearly 7.5 percent, ahead of the $112,000 goal. Last year, the campaign netted $108,000.

“We firmly believe that God is going to give us exactly what we need to get through the year,” Zanders said. “... It kind of blew us away. We were pleasantly surprised. Some other places were up and others were down (in Red Kettle donations). Generally, what we’re seeing is that because the need is great, people are digging deeper this year.”

Students in the Massillon City School District and from Tuslaw Elementary School raised $1,800 alone by filling classroom milk jugs with cash for the campaign, Zanders noted.

In addition, the agency benefited from a store that increased the number of days it would allow bell ringers to be in front of the store, according to Zanders.

“They let us go back to six days a week,” he said.

Zanders also noted the unusually mild December weather helped to boost donations.

“We had a lot of snow and wind chill last year,” he said.

All donated funds will help the Salvation Army provide programming and services, including housing assistance and school supplies, to Massillon-area residents.

Another local agency, the American Red Cross Stark County Chapter, is receiving donations through the agency’s national fundraising campaign, which continues through the end of the year, according to development director Jacquie Batchelder. Nationally, donations collected in December make up roughly 20 percent of all non-disaster contributions to the Red Cross.

“Our fundraising efforts are ongoing,” Batchelder said. “Holiday donations are still arriving until mid-January.”

Typically, the need for emergency services, such as food, clothing and shelter, or casework to a member of a military family rises during the winter months, according to Batchelder.

Donations are being accepted at or by calling 1-800-733-2767. In addition, residents can go to the Red Cross Holiday Gift Catalog, which can be accessed on the website, and buy a symbolic gift. The catalog includes donations for items such as a military comfort kit filled with a phone card, robe, shower shoes, toiletries and an MP3 music gift card for those who have been wounded.

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